"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly." .....Richard Bach
They say you'll know when it's time. It will be a look and you'll just know. On February 21, 2009, I saw that look.
After a lifetime of enduring the pain associated with hip dysplasia and a year of limping on 3 legs, Teddy lost all use of his right front leg. It was obvious that the pain was excruciating simply by watching him walk. There were times in the last few days that I would hear whimpering and find him just standing facing the front door. We are so fortunate that we can help dogs cross to the other side where they can live, pain free, until we meet again.
Yesterday Teddy told Marilyn to tell me he knows it's time to go home. He doesn't want to leave because he's loved it here but it's getting too painful to move. He compared it to going on vacation and having a great time. You really don't want it to end but you know you have to go home because... oh my gosh... you're out of money!
I searched the internet for the perfect poem and couldn't find exactly what I wanted but I found pieces of some so I took those pieces, put them together, did some rewording and added my own thoughts. Here it is:
If it should be that I am weak
and pain should keep me from my sleep,
then you must do what must be done,
for this last battle can't be won.
You will be sad; I understand
but don't let grief then stay your hand.
It is a kindness that you do
so, no regrets, it should be you.
Take me where my needs they'll tend
but do stay with me 'til the end.
Hold me tight and speak to me
until my eyes no longer see.
Don't search for me for I'm not there,
but feel me now, I'm everywhere!
In air you breathe, in sounds you hear,
don't cry now, my spirits near.
Smile at my memory, remember my ways.
This isn't the end, but brand new days!
I'll wait and watch from the other side
until; once again, I'm by your side.
Teddy Edward 11/6/99 - 2/21/09
Don't be dismayed at good-byes.
A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.
And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes,
is certain for those who are friends.
Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow; I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sun on ripened grain; I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die. …Mary Frye, 1904-2004